How were you raised to feel about concepts like work, productivity and achievement?
Were some activities deemed a waste of time while others were held up as being worthwhile, good and useful?
And, last question, how do you feel about work and leisure now, do you have clearly defined boundaries around these two types of activity, or do they cross over, intermingle and blur?
How we judge the ways we spend our time and how sensitive we are to our own needs to do certain activities on a regular basis, are major determinants of happiness.
A key to achieving this is identifying and releasing any of the unhelpful beliefs we learned about work and our worthiness as people outside our work roles as we grew up.
We are not what we do.
Here’s an example: I got a new book in the post today. It’s Sarah Powers’ book, Insight Yoga and ever since I attended a very inspiring yoga and meditation workshop with her in January, I’ve been really looking forward to getting it. As I glance at the enticing cover right now, a part of me wants to stop what I’m doing and spend the rest of the day reading it.
But I won’t.
I won’t because at this moment in time, sitting down to read a book on two of my very favourite topics, yoga and meditation, doesn’t match my criteria of how a ‘working day’ should be spent. It’s 1.00 pm, the children are at school, my husband is upstairs working in his office and I’m feeling this interestingly familiar pressure to be productive.
And it’s all good because I know I’ll make time to read this book at some point today and I’m getting better with every word I type right now with lightening up on this whole productivity caper.
You see I have all this amazing freedom to choose how I spend my time while my children are at school. In an average week I see few clients, do a yoga class, meet a friend for a cuppa, go for a walk or two, write a blog, listen to a teleseminar or watch a training video, do some housework/washing/shopping and chat with my husband, all during the six hour school day.
I love my life but what I’m to ready to shift into now is a whole new level of creativity, flexibility and freedom. There’s nothing wrong and everything right with going with the flow of what intuition guides us to spend our time doing. Our inner self knows when to work and when to play, that these terms are interchangeable and in fact, all of life can feel like play.
I grew up getting that much lauded (by parents) word on almost every school report; conscientious. Hard to spell and even to say but hey, I was a hard worker, I got good grades. This quality helped me do well in school and fairly well in the workforce but it also caused me to feel quite stressed and to put myself under a lot of pressure to always achieve.
When I left work and became a mother, I found it very difficult to transfer this mindset to being at home with a baby. A big culture shock!
So what I’ve learnt since then is that when I’m in close connection to my intuitive self, I know what’s best for me to spend my time on in each moment. We all have choices and sure, sometimes I find myself feeling conflicted. But what I do now when I feel a clash between what I think I should do and what would be more pleasant, is tune into my heart and listen.
So that’s why I sat on my balcony and ate my sandwich with my magpie friend at lunchtime today instead of sitting at my desk while I ate. Simple.
Give yourself permission to enjoy a moment, don’t taint it with the pressure of getting stuff done.
I love helping women connect more deeply with their intuition and true desires click here for details of how I work and how to contact me.